ipsy Glam Bag Review: May 2018

Hey, y’all!

I look forward to that pretty pink mailer envelope every month! This month’s theme was “Go There.” The bag is a cute faux leather with passport stamps all over one side. It reminded me how excited I am for our belated honeymoon in Ireland this fall! I don’t know about you, but our travel bucket list is long; Ireland is just the tip of the iceberg. Well, enough about #travelgoals–let’s jump into the goodies inside the bag!

Style Sepia French Garden Gel-Liner with Diamond in “Jardin”

from Touch in Sol

Photo of Style Sepia French Garden Gel-Liner with Diamond in "Jardin" from Touch in Sol
$17; Touch in Sol

If I’m not using liquid liner, gel is my next choice, and I tend to be a pretty big fan of Korean beauty products. Those Koreans know their stuff! ipsy describes the shade as a “rich brown with subtle green shimmer.” I didn’t really notice the green shimmer until I was taking it off, but that’s fine with me. It goes on smoothly and stays put really well. The color wasn’t intense enough for my taste, but the formula is good; maybe I’d like black better. What can I say? I’ll always be a die-hard liquid liner gal through and through.

My Rating: 4/5

Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge

from SLMISSGLAM

Photo of Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge
$17.50; SLMISSGLAM

The shape of this sponge makes it very versatile, but all in all I was left unimpressed. The size is adorable, but it makes it difficult to use the various surfaces effectively. It seems to stain really easily; no matter how much I washed it, I couldn’t get all the foundation out.  I’ll probably toss this in my travel makeup bag as a backup, but I don’t see this little sponge being worth the price. I’m much more impressed by Real Technique’s sponges, and they’re a much more reasonable price point.

My Rating: 2/5

Moisture Healing Mask Argan Oil Formula: Coconut Scent

from Nelson J Beverly Hills

Photo of sample size Moisture Healing Mask from Nelson J Beverly Hills
$23 for 3.4 oz.; Nelson J Beverly Hills

This is the reason why my bag smelled like coconut as soon as I took it out of the mailer envelope (no, it didn’t leak), and I’m not mad about it. The coconut scent was divine and gave me total summer vibes. According to the website, the mask has 7 benefits:

  1. Detangles
  2. Controls frizz
  3. Prevents hair color fading
  4. Seals split ends
  5. Protects from chlorine & salt water
  6. Restores silkiness & shine
  7. Enhances hair natural body

I’d say it did those things, but I can’t speak to some of them. I don’t color my hair, I don’t have any split ends because I got a trim recently, and I haven’t been in any chlorinated or salt water. There wasn’t anything about it that stood out to me over any other hair mask I’ve owned or tried, but it did the job. With all of the hair masks I already have, I don’t feel the need to purchase the full-size of this one, but this sample size will be another great addition to my travel bag.

My Rating: 3/5

Centella 65 Green Tea Pack

from PureHeals by Nature Village

Photo of sample size Centella 65 Green Tea Pack Calming Mask from Pure Heals by Nature Village
$32 for 4.58 oz.; Ulta

I used this for Spoil Me Sunday recently, and you can read my full review here.

TL;DR: You can buy this at Ulta, and I’m totally planning on it.

My Rating: 5/5

Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of sample size Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder from Tarte Cosmetics
$33 for .32 oz.; Ulta

This is a really nice translucent powder; I like to use it to set my eyeshadow primer so I get the smoothest possible eyeshadow application with the boldest color. It works well as an overall finishing powder, too, of course, because it minimizes the appearance of pores and doesn’t have any flashback. I find it odd that it’s nowhere to be found on the Tarte website, but it’s available at Ulta and Sephora. Who knows? Anyway, I still prefer my Becca Under Eye Setting Powder to set my under eye concealer because of the brightening effect. When I run out of my CoverFX translucent powder, I’d consider switching to this Tarte powder for setting the rest of my face, though. I like that it has a little bit of a finer texture, so it gives me a softer finish.

My Rating: 5/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 3.8. Have you tried any of these products? Are you interested in any of them?

What did you get in your subscription box(es) this month? Any new favorites? Tell me all about ’em!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

ipsy Glam Bag Review: April 2018

Hey, y’all!

April is here, and spring is in full swing! The theme for this month’s Glam Bag was “Social Butterfly.” I think the bag is really pretty; I love the rose gold accents. Now, onto what was inside!

Eyeshadow Blending Brush

from Ruby

DSC01134

I couldn’t find this brush on their website, so I don’t know how much it is, or really anything about it, other than the fact that it’s cruelty-free. I like the precision of this brush for blending my lower lid or the inner corner of my eye.

My Rating: 5/5

Loose Eyeshadow in “Copper”

from Meech and Mia

Photo of Loose Eyeshadow in Copper from Meech and Mia
$11.50 for Net Wt. 1.2g; Meech and Mia

This eyeshadow is cruelty-free and packs some serious pigmentation. Loose eyeshadow isn’t my favorite because it gets messy, but this one didn’t have any fallout at all. I was super impressed! The color is absolutely gorgeous, and it stayed that way all day long, even after a heavy workout.

img_1313_facetune_23-04-2018-22-55-32

My Rating: 4/5

Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Stockholm”

from NYX Cosmetics

Photo of Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm from NYX Cosmetics
$6.50 for .27 fl. oz.; NYX Cosmetics

I only swatched this on the back of my hand, and I wasn’t impressed. The color was way too orange for my taste, but more importantly, it has no staying power. Yes, it dries matte, but it doesn’t dry down enough to stay put. Even after 20 minutes, I was able to rub it off with no problem. I’ll either list it on My Subscription Addiction’s Swap page or just give it to a friend, but I wasn’t a fan.

My Rating: 1/5

That Liquid Glo Tho Liquid Highlighter in “Lit”

from Trust Fund Beauty

Photo of That Liquid Glo Tho Liquid Highlighter in Lit from Trust Fund Beauty
$20; Trust Fund Beauty

The shimmery glow of this highlighter is everything. It’s a gorgeous champagne color that’s not glittery. It really made my cheekbones pop, and it works well as an eyeshadow, too. It’s a little over-the-top for work wear, but I love it for weekends!

My Rating: 4/5

Pore Tightening Pearl Mask

from Biorace

Photo of sample size Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask from Borate
$25 for 3.88 oz.; Biorace

You can read my first impression of this mask here. I recommend it!

My Rating: 5/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 3.8. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Are you a member of any subscription services? What did you get that you absolutely love? Can’t wait for May!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

Photo of my March ipsy Glam Bag

ipsy Glam Bag Review: March 2018

Hey, y’all!

A new month, a new Glam Bag! The theme for this month’s Glam Bag was #ipsycreate, so it was a black and white design by Priscilla Witte, and it came with 2 markers (mine were pink and blue) to make it your own work of art. I thought it was a really cute idea. Wanna see what was inside? Keep reading!

Good Night! PM Sheet Mask

from Meg Cosmetics

Photo of Good Night! PM Sheet Mask from Meg Cosmetics
$6 ea.; Meg Cosmetics

If you’ve read previous posts, you know I’m always down to try new masks, but I have yet to encounter a sheet mask that I fall in love with and want to repurchase. The Tea Tree oil and Rosemary extract give this mask a very clean smell with just a hint of citrus, which was nice. I will say that of all the sheet masks I’ve tried, this one fit me the best. I have a high forehead, and a lot of the Korean brand masks stop like an inch below my hairline. This one came all the way up to about 1/4″ below my hairline, so there’s that. This one left my face feeling super sticky long after I had removed the mask, which was annoying. I think I’ve realized, though, that my biggest frustration with sheet masks is that none of them fit my face well. Besides the forehead issue, I have yet to find one that will stay adhered to the sides of my nose without encroaching on the outer corners of my eyes. It seems that until I find the unicorn of sheet masks, I won’t be buying the same one twice. Same goes for this one. Le sigh.

My Rating: 3/5

Glow Duo

from City Color Cosmetics

Photo of Glam Duo Highlighter from City Color Cosmetics
$5.99; City Color Cosmetics

I love a good highlighter, and I’ve been impressed by everything I’ve tried from City Color Cosmetics thus far, so I was excited to give this a whirl.

The powder side is a little more glittery than I would normally use for everyday makeup, so I only used it (sparingly) on my cheekbones. I didn’t use it to highlight my nose, chin, cupid’s bow, etc. The color is gorgeous, and it goes on like a dream.

The cream side is more subtle, so I used that for highlighting the rest of my face. It’s got a nice buttery texture, but it’s nice and light. I also tried layering it over the powder on my cheekbones, and the effect was really pretty. Definitely going to keep experimenting with this.

My Rating: 4/5

SL41 Blusher Brush

from SLMISSGLAM Beauty

Photo of SL41 Blusher Brush from SLMISSGLAM Beauty
SLMISSGLAM Beauty

The bulk of my brushes came from Amazon, but every now and then I’ll splurge on a particular brush. Getting them in my Glam Bag is even better! I’ve gotten a brush from SLMISSGLAM before in a previous Glam Bag, and I literally use it every day. My only complaint about that brush was that it was teal, so it didn’t go with my other brushes that are predominantly pink and black. I was super excited to get another SLMISSGLAM brush this month, and this one is pink! Bonus that it’s sparkly, too. 🙂

SLMISSGLAM Beauty doesn’t sell individual brushes, unfortunately. At the moment, their sets range from $38.50 for a set of 2 to $325 for a set of 25. As I expected, the (synthetic) bristles are super soft and easy to clean. At first I was a little concerned that it wasn’t dense enough to apply my blush/highlighter/etc. effectively because of how it compared to my other blush brushes, but it ended up doing a great job of blending it out for a natural looking glow. Love, love, love!

My Rating: 5/5

Sex Kitten Eyeliner

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of sample size Sex Kitten Eyeliner from Tarte Cosmetics
$20 for full size; Tarte Cosmetics

I had tried a sample of this eyeliner from Ulta before and liked it, so I didn’t mind seeing it in my Glam Bag this month. My personal eyeliner preference is gel for my waterline and liquid for my upper lid, so this wouldn’t be my first choice. I can use it on my waterline, and it’s ok, but it doesn’t last. When I used it on my upper lid, it went on smoothly without any skipping or tugging, and it lasted all day long. I wouldn’t purchase the full-size, but that’s not because it’s a bad product. It’s just not my thing.

My Rating: 2/5

Freematic Eyeshadow Mono in “Lola”

from Doucce

Photo of Freematic Eyeshadow Mono in
$10 ea.; Doucce

Eyeshadow is one of my favorite parts of doing my makeup, so I’m always game for trying new brands. A friend of mine gave me a Doucce palette she had received and didn’t want, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to play with it much. “Lola” is a really pretty pinkish purple that can work for daytime or evening, depending on what other colors you use with it to contour. It applies really smoothly with zero fallout; the color isn’t super vibrant when you first apply, but it’s buildable, which is nice. Not 100% sure I’d buy other colors, but I’m not writing it off.

My Rating: 4/5


This month’s Glam Bag had an average rating of 3.6. I always like getting brushes, and I liked the mix of skincare and makeup in my bag. I might need to change my profile preferences to nix sheet masks, but I’ll leave it alone for now.

Are you a member of a subscription service? What fun things did you receive this month? Leave a comment to let me know!

I’ve also recently subscribed to Yes, Oh Yas! You get 3-7 full-size beauty products every month for $14.99 + shipping. I can’t wait to get my first box next month! Want 10% off your first box? Use coupon code SARAH614 when you check out!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Photo of my February Glam Bag

ipsy Glam Bag Review: February 2018

Hey, y’all!

Another month, another Glam Bag! I was a lot happier with this bag than last month’s. The dusty pink with the black lace is super cute, and I got products I liked better. Wanna see what I got? Check ’em out!

Electra Baked Highlighter

from Luna by Luna

Photo of Electra Baked Highlighter
$23 for .1 oz.; Luna by Luna

This baked highlighter is absolutely gorgeous. The color is really flattering, and it’s not super glittery. I like that it can be a subtle shimmer for every day use, or I can build it up for a more dramatic evening look. It applies beautifully and stays throughout the day. Highlighter is one of my favorite parts of my makeup routine, and this one is a fabulous addition to my collection!

My rating: 5/5

Beach Crystals Palette

from Pacifica Beauty

Photo of Pacifica Beauty "Beach Crystals" Palette
left to right: Faceted, Spaced Out, Prism, Raw Power, and Mars

This mini palette is a sample of their Crystal Matrix palette, which contains a total of 10 shades. I’d never tried this brand before, but so far I’m pretty impressed with their eyeshadows. They’re 100% vegan and cruelty free, the pigmentation is gorgeous, I didn’t experience any fallout, and they blend really nicely (the coconut water infusion probably helps with that). The full-size palette runs for $18, so it’s a very reasonable price point. I’d definitely be curious to try more of their eyeshadows; the only reason I didn’t give it 5/5 is because I’m going through more of a matte eyeshadow phase right now, especially for work.

My rating: 4/5

Perfecting Primer Facial Mask

from Biobelle

Photo of #Primer Tencel Mask from Biobelle Cosmetics
$4.99 ea.; Biobelle

I gave this an honest shot, but I’ll admit I went into it pretty skeptical. Sheet masks aren’t my favorite because they feel like more work than clay or peel masks and because they’re kind of pricey. I may not have followed the instructions 100% as intended because I did my normal morning skincare routine, waited about an hour, and then applied the mask. When I took the mask out, it smelled good without being overpowering, but I would have preferred the smell of tea tree oil, since it’s listed as an ingredient. I thought the hearts on the sides were super cute, but it’s still not something I would be inclined to purchase myself. It left my skin feeling nice and refreshed, which is why I gave it a 2 instead of a 1, but it didn’t do much to help my makeup last or to control the oil in my T-Zone. For $5 a-piece, I’ll stick with my Laura Geller Spackle primer that has SPF 30 in it (although when that runs out, I’ll be switching over to NARS Cosmetics Smooth & Protect Primer with SPF 50.)

My rating: 2/5

“Bye Bye Under Eye” Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer in “Light”

from IT Cosmetics

Photo of Bye Bye Under Eye in "Light" from It Cosmetics
$24 for .28 fl. oz.; IT Cosmetics

I love IT Cosmetics; they make some really great products that make my skin look flawless–this isn’t one of them. First off, yes, this stuff is waterproof and full coverage, but it’s so ridiculously thick that it’s difficult to blend. I would equate the consistency to wet house paint, and it seemed like the way to “blend” it was to let my beauty sponge take a good bit of it off of my face. I also didn’t find the “no creasing” claim to be true–it settled into the little creases under my eyes even after setting it with powder. I remembered after the first time I tried it out that my sister-in-law had warned me about how thick it is when we were at Ulta together a couple of weeks ago. She loves IT Cosmetics, too, but she’s not a fan of this, either. The ingredient list includes several things that are great for your skin: peptides, antioxidants, collagen, hyaluronic acid, etc., but I’ll stick with my Tarte Shape Tape, thanks.

My rating: 1/5

Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in “ipsy Unzipped”

from OFRA Cosmetics

Photo of Ofra Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in "ipsy Unzipped"

As I’ve mentioned before, I prefer liquid lipstick over traditional, and I like it matte. Sometimes it can be hard to find a good formula, and even when you do, you can’t always find that perfect shade that you’re looking for. I’m definitely adding this OFRA formula to the “winner” list. It’s comfortable, doesn’t dry out my lips, and lasts all day; this color that was created for ipsy is perfect for daytime wear. Since the color is an ipsy exclusive, you can’t buy it anywhere, but OFRA has so many to choose from on its website! It runs $20 for 6g of product, so pretty comparable to the price points of Tarte, Too Faced, Anastasia Beverly Hills, etc. I wish OFRA was sold in brick and mortar stores; some reviews on the website say that the colors shown are not true to life, so I wish I could test them out myself. I think I’ll be seeing more OFRA liquid lipsticks in my future…

My rating: 5/5


This month’s Glam Bag had an average rating of 3.4, which is an improvement over last month. I did notice, though, that there weren’t any products that I was indifferent about; I either loved them or I hated them, for better or worse. I also enjoyed the fact that the highlighter, the lipstick, and the cool shades of the Pacifica palette all worked well together to form a cohesive look.

Are you a member of a subscription service? What fun things did you receive this month? Leave a comment to let me know!

Have a good rest of the week; we’re halfway through!

 

Love,

Sarah xoxo

ipsy Glam Bag Review: January 2018

Hey, y’all!

First ipsy Glam Bag of 2018! This month was a pretty balanced combination of skincare, makeup, and nails, and the bag was cute–I’ve been using it in my gym bag ever since I got it. Let’s get to it!

Charcoal Wash-Off Mask

from Global Beauty Care

Photo of Global Beauty Care Charcoal Wash-Off Mask
$9.99 for 5 oz.; globalbeautycare.com

This was basically your typical charcoal mud mask. Charcoal is about halfway down the ingredient list, so I’m not sure how much there actually is in there. I didn’t notice much of a difference in my skin after using this, but at least it didn’t dry my skin out. I’m mildly obsessed with cleaning out my pores, but compared to other charcoal products I own, this one didn’t really do the trick. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just…there.

My Rating: 3/5

Liquid Matte Long-Wear Liquid Lipstick in “Raisin Flesh”

from So Susan Cosmetics

Photo of So Susan Liquid Matte Lipstick in Raisin Flesh
$14 for .17 fl. oz.; sosusan.com

I prefer liquid lipstick over regular because it doesn’t end up on my teeth and it (generally) lasts longer. I was excited to try this brand for the first time, and I really, really wanted to like this… No dice.

The color is nice, perfect for work, but this stuff is so. effing. sticky. It was to the point of being distracting. I tried it once with lip primer and once without–no difference whatsoever. Even putting a thin layer of Posie Tint over it didn’t help. I found myself licking my lips repeatedly to try to combat the stickiness, but it didn’t stop until it had mostly worn off. On top of that, it feathered; it wasn’t the long wear I was expecting. The color was basically the only thing I liked about it because it could work in any season, so unfortunately, this one is a no-go.

My Rating: 1/5

Fierce Flicks Precision Tip Liquid Liner

from Ciaté London

Photo of Ciate London Fierce Flicks Precision Tip Liquid Liner
$19 for .05 fl. oz.; ciatelondon.com

I had gotten a different Ciaté London liquid liner in my ipsy bag last summer and wasn’t super impressed, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. I was very pleasantly surprised! It’s a good formula in classic black with a nice matte finish, but the best part is its staying power! Once it dries, it doesn’t budge. Period. In fact, when I take my makeup off in the evening, I use a cleansing oil and then wash my face. When I get out of the shower, I still have to use makeup remover to get the last of the product off my eyelids! Honestly, the only factor preventing this from being my eyeliner holy grail is that it’s a felt tip liquid eyeliner instead of a brush applicator, but that’s just personal preference.

My Rating: 5/5

Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, Shadow, & Shimmer

from theBalm Cosmetics

Photo of theBalm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, Shadow & Shimmer
$24 for .3oz; thebalm.com

I love a good luminizer, and I love the versatility this one has because you can use it as a highlighter or an eyeshadow. The color is pretty universally flattering, and it’s subtle enough for everyday use. I wish the sample was a little bigger so I could use my larger highlighting brush, but maybe I’ll get the full size at some point. I just have so many different highlighters to go through as it is.

My Rating: 4/5

Nail Polish in “Johnny’s Angels”

from Pretty Woman NYC

Photo of Pretty Woman NYC Nail Polish in Johnny's Angels
$7.99 for .3 fl. oz.; prettywomannyc.com

This is the second Pretty Woman nail polish I’ve gotten from ipsy (the first one was “Girl Boss.”) I tried this one on my toes, and it took me three coats to get the opacity I wanted. Within 2 days, my toes were chipping really badly (this polish was no match for Pole class.) I don’t remember “Girl Boss” chipping this quickly on my toes (it did on my fingers), but maybe it just wasn’t as noticeable. This color would be really cute for spring, but it doesn’t hold up well enough for me to want to buy other colors. So far, I’m sticking with Trust Fund Beauty.

My Rating: 2/5


Overall, this wasn’t my strongest Glam Bag (average rating of 3), but some things worked out well. We’ll see what February brings. What did you love in your ipsy Glam Bag this month? Do you use a different subscription service? Leave a comment!

Happy Hump Day!

–Sarah xoxo